Bloom in the Park, Ireland’s largest gardening event of the year, is in full swing in Dublin where the locals, perhaps for the first time in, say, nine years, are looking to the White House for inspiration on matters of food. Bloom organizers have built a replica of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s vegetable garden. Why?

Let’s go to the official news release from the garden’s debut:

Speaking at the launch, Bord Bia Chief Executive Aidan Cotter said, “Bord Bia is delighted to welcome Deputy Ambassador Robert Faucher to Bloom to open the Whitehouse garden at Bloom 2009. Grow your own is one of the central themes to Bloom this year and what better way to illustrate it than emulating US First Lady Michelle Obama’s wonderful kitchen garden. We hope visitors to Bloom will be inspired by the garden and perhaps try planting fruit and vegetables in their own green space be it a window box or garden.”

Obamafoodorama reports today that the garden “has already been visited by thousands of people—-and by members of the US Embassy in Ireland, who showed up yesterday with the Green Party’s Minister for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent.”

What’s more, as part of Bloom in the Park, Restaurant Eve‘s chef and owner Cathal Armstrong traveled to the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, where he cooked for 30 students from —- take a deep breath before reading —- Scoil Mhuire Primary School, Mount Sackville, Chapelizod, Dublin.

According to an Embassy release:

“The students were broken into groups, with tasks such as peeling onions or carrots and washing lettuce, only after washing their hands.   Armstrong said that many cases of food induced illnesses come from the home, because restaurants know how to keep food clean.

After preparing all of the vegetables, he demonstrated how to ensure cleanliness before preparing chicken. He then seasoned the chicken and began cooking.  Many of the children said that the meal was one of the best they ever had, ensuring that the event was a success.”